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  • Lynn Catalano

Answer This 1 Question to Determine if Your Relationship is Toxic

Recently, 10 questions were compiled from couples’ therapists to determine if your relationship is toxic. In my humble opinion, you only need to ask yourself one of the questions to make such a determination.

“Do you feel comfortable telling your partner when they've hurt your feelings?”

If you answered yes, your relationship is good. If you answered no, your relationship is toxic.

Keys to a Good Relationship

Communication, vulnerability, and transparency are key to a good relationship. Vulnerability is actually a superpower. You see, when you can actively communicate and trust the other person completely, you can truly be vulnerable. I believe that uncomfortable conversations, where we show our vulnerability, are where relationships really grow and change. You’ll learn the red flags of a toxic relationship in my self-guided mini-course available here.

Uncomfortable Conversations

When we hold these uncomfortable conversations, they allow us to get stronger, to break down walls between people, to build bridges and bonds. Who wants to have an uncomfortable conversation? It is risky. Most people would rather not. Most people who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or toxic people would not like to have an uncomfortable conversation. They do not want to shed light on their toxic ways. People who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations are willing to change.

Reflective Listening

It is enormously difficult to build relationships without practicing reflective listening.

Reflective listening is a communication strategy employing 2 steps: 1) listen to understand the speaker’s idea and 2) the listener then repeats the idea back to the speaker to confirm the idea has been understood correctly. This is a method of hearing and comprehending which requires focus, intent and active participation. This approach demonstrates the listener’s authenticity and commitment to the conversation. I recently read an assessment with 10 questions to determine how well do you listen? You received a point for every yes answer and 0 for nos. Basically if you achieved a very low score, you are a listening expert. Questions such as: Do you sometimes interrupt others during a conversation? Do you sometimes look at your watch or your phone when others are talking?

Listening may be the most important skill to possess - putting someone else first as it's not about you. Listen to the other person without trying to respond. Give affirmations that you understand, you get it, you HEAR them!

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence involves all of these concepts. “The ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.” People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder have very low emotional intelligence. They don’t show vulnerability, have uncomfortable conversations, or listen reflectively. If you’re in a toxic relationship with a narcissist, now is the time to stop tolerating the abuse. Talk to someone. Do something for yourself.

I’m a survivor of narcissistic abuse and now I coach people on their healing journey.

Learn more about me here:

Click here to book a free session with me. We’ll figure out if we work well together.

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